Bosses offer perks to keep staff at work during the Olympics

Britain’s bosses are planning to pull out all the stops to persuade staff to turn up for work every day during the Olympics, following the news that many sports fans are planning to throw a sickie during the Games.

Bookmaker Coral researched 2,000 UK adults to find out how far the London Olympics have caught the country’s imagination. Almost six in ten of those surveyed say they will be following events live on TV.

But the lengths people are prepared to go to in order to see their favourite Games will alarm Britain’s bosses. While over one in five employees say they will ask permission and use up annual leave, a further one in 12 say they’ll be nipping out of the office for key events without telling their boss. And around the same number say they are planning to throw a sickie and stay at home to watch the sporting feats unfold.

As a result, employers are offering all kinds of perks to persuade staff to stay in work. Almost one in five businesses are introducing flexitime for the duration of the Games, while one in eight are installing televisions on shop floors and in offices and factories so workers don’t miss any of the action.

Other perks that are set to be commonplace over the next few weeks are Olympic-themed parties, free food and drink for employees and extended lunch breaks.

Coral director of communications Simon Clare said: “Many of the events are taking place during the working day and employers are having to be flexible. When some of the big events take place, the country is likely to come to a standstill – and bosses are just having to accept that fact and work around it.”

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